You like hash browns. I like hash browns. We all like hash browns. (That is, unless you aren’t eating potatoes, and in that case, you’re probably missing hash browns.)
I stumbled upon a method of cooking hash browns recently that was too good not to share. In the same issue of Cook’s Country where I got those apple cider doughnuts, the editors of America’s Test Kitchen hashed out (sorry) the best way to transform everyday potatoes into a sheet pan full of hash browns that can feed a crowd.
Even if you start with frozen or dried hash browns, it takes a long time to transform them into a pan full of crispy, salted shredded potatoes. The key when cooking them in a skillet is to resist flipping them until you know they are crispy on the bottom.
But Cook’s Country’s method is a little different: Start with about 3 pounds of whole, unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes. Shred them with a food processor or grater and let them soak in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then drain them in a colander and then squeeze them in a kitchen towel to remove as much water as possible. Mix with about 6 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon table salt and then spread in a sheet pan.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes. Flip ’em and then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until they are crisped to your liking.
This will make enough hash browns to feed at least 4 to 6 people, and probably more, and all the hash browns will be finished at the same time, which is hard to accomplish when cooking them in batches in a pan.
When I recreated these hash browns recently, I didn’t use quite enough potatoes to fill the sheet pan (and I oversalted them), but it was so nice to not have to tend to the pan while they cooked. I’ll be using this method again.